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      Correlational Studies in Typological and Historical Linguistics

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      Annual Review of Linguistics

      Annual Reviews

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          Phylogenetic Comparative Analysis: A Modeling Approach for Adaptive Evolution

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            Puzzlingly High Correlations in fMRI Studies of Emotion, Personality, and Social Cognition.

            Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studiesofemotion, personality, and social cognition have drawn much attention in recent years, with high-profile studies frequently reporting extremely high (e.g., >.8) correlations between brain activation and personality measures. We show that these correlations are higher than should be expected given the (evidently limited) reliability of both fMRI and personality measures. The high correlations are all the more puzzling because method sections rarely contain much detail about how the correlations were obtained. We surveyed authors of 55 articles that reported findings of this kind to determine a few details on how these correlations were computed. More than half acknowledged using a strategy that computes separate correlations for individual voxels and reports means of only those voxels exceeding chosen thresholds. We show how this nonindependent analysis inflates correlations while yielding reassuring-looking scattergrams. This analysis technique was used to obtain the vast majority of the implausibly high correlations in our survey sample. In addition, we argue that, in some cases, other analysis problems likely created entirely spurious correlations. We outline how the data from these studies could be reanalyzed with unbiased methods to provide accurate estimates of the correlations in question and urge authors to perform such reanalyses. The underlying problems described here appear to be common in fMRI research of many kinds-not just in studies of emotion, personality, and social cognition.
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              Mapping the origins and expansion of the Indo-European language family.

              There are two competing hypotheses for the origin of the Indo-European language family. The conventional view places the homeland in the Pontic steppes about 6000 years ago. An alternative hypothesis claims that the languages spread from Anatolia with the expansion of farming 8000 to 9500 years ago. We used Bayesian phylogeographic approaches, together with basic vocabulary data from 103 ancient and contemporary Indo-European languages, to explicitly model the expansion of the family and test these hypotheses. We found decisive support for an Anatolian origin over a steppe origin. Both the inferred timing and root location of the Indo-European language trees fit with an agricultural expansion from Anatolia beginning 8000 to 9500 years ago. These results highlight the critical role that phylogeographic inference can play in resolving debates about human prehistory.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Annual Review of Linguistics
                Annu. Rev. Linguist.
                Annual Reviews
                2333-9683
                2333-9691
                January 2015
                January 2015
                : 1
                : 1
                : 221-241
                Article
                10.1146/annurev-linguist-030514-124819
                9fbd4cb5-4a1e-4d29-8a6d-6e14cf4a6822
                © 2015

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